Updates for Health Sciences community regarding COVID-19

Updates for Health Sciences community regarding COVID-19

Dear Health Sciences Faculty, Staff and Students,

At WVU, our highest priority is safeguarding the health, well-being and academic success of all Mountaineers. As COVID-19 continues to spread, we are taking advice from public health experts and enacting precautionary measures to protect our WVU family and community.

Please refer to the University-wide email from President Gee that was sent out on Tuesday, March 10. Visit the Student and Faculty sections of coronavirus.wvu.edu frequently for general University updates.

The Health Sciences Center is a key component of the University with many unique programs and curricula. Therefore, each Health Sciences school has created a web page with information specific to their students, faculty and staff. This will be shared with you through communication from your school’s leadership. Some of the following information may slightly differ depending on your HSC school. Be sure to reference the information provided by your school leadership.

Clinical Rotations, Residents and Student Workers

Clinical learning experiences will continue as planned. Any changes to specific policies for students in the clinical learning environment will be communicated to students directly from their particular school leadership. In addition, the following clinical protocol will be followed:

  • All students learning in the clinical learning environment are prohibited from direct contact with patients who are people under investigation (PUI) or patients confirmed to have COVID-19.
  • Any student who is exposed to a patient who becomes a PUI in the course of their care is to notify their team and instructor, self-quarantine away from the clinical environment, and notify the WVU Student Health office at (304) 285-7200.
  • If you have a health condition that puts you at higher risk (you are immunocompromised, on immunosuppressive drugs, have a chronic pulmonary condition) or have unique circumstances (you are living with someone who is immunosuppressed, you are pregnant), please contact your instructor so they can help identify educational experiences that reduce your risk while meeting educational requirements.
  • Additional information for healthcare professionals is included in the Healthcare Providers section of coronavirus.wvu.edu.

Classroom and Laboratory In-person Instruction

  • WVU has suspended all in-person classroom instruction, including labs and simulation-based courses, through March 30. Most Health Sciences schools will begin online-only instruction on March 23 or March 30 with the exception of the M.D. program, which begins online learning March 16.
  • Health Sciences leadership is currently looking into options for completing labs, testing and other alternative class types. Please watch your email for communication from your school administration.

Faculty Training for Online Tools

  • The Teaching and Learning Commons is partnering with ITS and Libraries to provide several “open lab” and webinar sessions to help instructors use online tools. These events are being finalized and will be listed on the Teaching and Learning Commons website.
  • HSC ITS has created a similar web site for HSC faculty. Both of these sites are cross-referenced to ensure instructors receive the most appropriate support given their situation.

Research and Graduate Students

The Health Sciences graduate programs will follow the direction of the main University regarding in-class instruction and labs. Additional specific instruction will be provided by the Health Sciences Research and Graduate Education Office and/or your School.

  • All in-person classroom instruction, including labs and simulation-based courses, is suspended until March 30. All other online-only classes will resume as planned starting March 23.
  • Beginning Monday, March 30, classroom instruction will be delivered remotely via online or other alternative learning options. The Health Sciences administrative team is currently looking into options moving forward for labs, testing and other alternative class types.
  • Principal Investigators and research leads can reference the Researchers page for information regarding essential personnel, travel and other resources. Specific instruction will be provided by the Health Sciences Research and Graduate Education Office.


All University-related international and domestic travel is suspended, unless approved, through March 30. Please reference the most updated travel information on the Students and Faculty and Staff pages at coronavirus.wvu.edu and understand how to protect yourself, report your travel and self-monitor or self-quarantine as necessary.

  • Students and residents who are participating in clinical or rural rotations or work in other areas of the state or country are permitted to continue. If those students choose to return to a WVU campus, they will be asked to check-in and document with Student Services for their particular program and report their travel.
  • Any students, residents, faculty or staff returing from international travel will need to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • If you are traveling in the U.S. to hotspots (g., California, New York, Washington state, etc.), you should contact your local health department before returning home for advice on what precautions need to be taken.
  • Specific information regarding residency programs will be shared from the Graduate Medical Education office in your school.

Events and Gatherings

University and school events and gatherings will be re-evaluated by University administration going forward. If possible, please utilize online capabilities for bringing groups together.

  • Please see the information regarding Meeting Etiquette.
  • Specific guidance regarding school-sponsored events will be forthcoming from academic leadership in each Health Sciences school.

Please reference coronavirus.wvu.edu as a central source of general information for the WVU community. Specific information will be shared by your academic units as soon as possible.

You may send any University questions to coronavirus@mail.wvu.edu.The University will route the question to the right person, and we will respond as quickly as we can.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work through this public health challenge together. By working together and avoiding panic, we will make it through this novel coronavirus. We will demonstrate the resilience and grit of West Virginia, and we will be a beacon of hope and community where we help and protect each other.


Clay Marsh, M.D.

Vice President and Executive Dean

WVU Health Sciences